Her voice is as sweet as Honey
Her smile is as pure as dew drops
Simplicity is her beauty
Innocence is her charm
She is none other than RJ Deepa Raj.
Hello Deepa, Hru
Hi Manjeetha. Great
First of all, tell us about your Native place, studies and family details.
I am native of Kerala, but my parents have been settled here in Hyderabad since long. All my schooling and upbringing has been here. I feel lucky to be growing up learning two cultures simultaneously – the Hyderabadi culture as well as the Malayalee tradition.
I have done my MA in English literature from University of Hyderabad. I am also a trained soft skills and communications trainer. (with an experience of over 15 years in corporate field both as freelance & pvt).
Coming to family, My Husband – Mr G. Ajeesh Kumar. We have 3 boy band. Rudra, Abhay & Virat
We heard your family is your strength
Yes.True. If God can bless me with this family in every life of mine, I will always feel blessed. Especially my husband. He is forever supporting and pampering me. It is because of his love that I do not miss my parents’ home after marriage.
Thats great Deepa. Well did you ever dreampt of becoming a Radio jockey?
I wouldn’t say a Radio Jockey but yes, I always was fascinated with radio. My fascination dates back to my childhood and since then I knew I would be associated with radio one day and God has been kind enough to bless me with this wish of mine.
It seems you broke Radio?
Yup. My dad used to play devotional songs on Vividh Bharathi All India Radio every morning. Then I was around 2-3 years old. I always used to wonder how from a small box the voices were coming. One day I even broke one radio to see who was talking from it. The idea of an imaginary face behind the voice, the idea of imagining, rather visualizing things through the guidance of a voice was the most awesome thing for me at that age and the craze for the unknown just grew bigger as I grew up and thankfully I could enter this crazy passionate world of Radio.
How your Radio Journey started?
When I was studying at the University of Hyderabad, during my 3rd semester my professor Mrs Alladi Uma asked me to give voice over for documentaries at AIR, as there was a requirement at that time. I met Mrs. Lakshmi Prasanna Madam at All India Radio and first gave my voice for a feature on Dr BR Ambedkar. For a couple of years, I gave my voice for features and documentaries and then in 2004 applied for RJ as audition was announced. Cleared the written test, voice test and landed as an RJ.
You did your first show on a special day! Right?
Absolutely. My first show was coincidentally on my birthday June 6th. It came as though it was a God’s birthday gift to me. I did Yuvavani English at AIR, then joined FM rainbow right from its onset in 2006. My program was called ‘Wrong Number’ in FM rainbow. Since then I have always been associated with FM rainbow. Radio is my passion, in fact my oxygen.
Radio – what you learnt from it?
Radio taught me a big life lesson. Just like how being an RJ “the show must go on” is the attitude we develop. No matter how, sometimes unexpected things, health issues or any personal problems pop up. But still “life must go on” and the show too.
Presently which radio show you are hosting?
I am hosting a bilingual (Hindi & English) show called “You, me and Music” on FM rainbow which airs every evening from 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM. It’s a full masti, fully entertainingt, in fact infotainment program. I share the importance of the day, share health tips, sometimes invite yoga instructors, doctors to help people with their queries. Also, give a little peek into news from Bollywood and western music scene. From 8:00 to 9:00 I host a caller-based program where the audience get to call me and talk to me on a particular topic given by me. And all along this, play some foot tapping soulful songs from Bollywood and western music. In fact, this is the only show where you can enjoy English songs.
How you select Topic?
I usually choose topics that evoke social responsibility. My idea is that when it comes from the people itself, it will create more impact. I also choose topics that get them nostalgic relating to their childhood and school. People just love talking about their school days.
For which topic you got good response?
There are quite a few topics which garnered a lot of attention but the most recent one for which I received full response was on Teacher’s day. I asked listeners to name one teacher who has influenced them the most. Many of them called me to talk about how that one teacher changed their lives and how thankful they are.
One more topic was,
“There are many people apart from our family who make our one day successful, our one day’s work happen smoothly. Think who all are they and thank them” – for this too I got huge response. People called and named their maids, their drivers, doctors, police etc.
Can you recollect one Funny incident with a fan?
One day, one guy lands up at the radio station and walks into my Program Director’s room and asks permission to meet RJ Deeparaj. This happened when I was sitting in front of my director. This is the most amazing part, people know my name, my voice but they do not recognize me.
Memorable moment with a listener
It is really amazing how relationship exists and develops between an RJ and listeners. They need not meet or know each other personally but they develop a special bond which has Trust. They share their fears, secrets, dreams and also follow the advices given by RJ. One of my listeners continued her studies after talking to me and has earned a job. It makes me so happy and on another occasion I got a mother and a son reunited and now they are staying together. This gives me inner peace. An RJ unknowingly, unintentionally can touch people’s lives.
Now tell us about your Fan following
I obviously feel nice to be loved by people. When they call and tell me, “Deepaji, last week aap kyun nahin aaye ….” Or “Hum bahut der se try kar rahe the, par call nahin lagra…” or “aapse baat karne ke baad dinner karenge”, I feel very happy and loved.
Apart from Radio:
I work for Loyola junior college as an English lecturer.
How you manage time?
When you love something wholeheartedly nothing seems difficult. I love my family and am passionate about radio. This keeps me going.
You are a great Cook too, whats your special dish?
If I am great or not, I do not know but yes, I can cook and that too a variety of dishes, both in Veg and Non-Veg, North Indian and South Indian. Hailing from Kerala and having indulged in a variety of lip smacking dishes of my mom, I know almost all dishes of Kerala. Being brought up here I can cook Telugu and Hyderabadi dishes. I have carrot chutney which is my patent as my special side dish for dosa and I make very nice Apple Kheer too.
Well Deepa after we get corona vaccine.. we will come to your place to taste your special dishes.
Now tell about your hobbies:
I love listening to music, creating stories, drawing, decorating my house and watching movies of any language
What you hate most
Lies and pretensions. Cannot stand fakeness in any form.
Which RJ you follow
Not one in particular, but I am a fan of all RJs. I must say that I have a pack of good friends at AIR. All of them “always active, highly energetic”. I am a fan of all female RJs of FM rainbow. All of them are so multi-talented. They manage their families, their career, their passion as an RJ. Most of them are married and have kids and they fit these roles so perfectly. They stand a perfect example of people managing family, career and passion all equally well. I learn from all of them, I follow all of them.
My Mother. Patience, optimism and above all to give unconditional love – all this I learned from her. She taught me to be self-dependent and filled in me the confidence that anything is possible. Just have faith in myself.
My dad:- Mr.K.R.Rajendranathan Nair:- My HERO
My mom:- Mrs Remani Nair:- my IDOL
My brother:-Mr.Padmaraj Nair:-MY BIGGEST INSPIRATION
What Success Means to you?
When I wake up in the morning and till I sleep at night I get to do what I really wish to do. This is my success ratio.
Failure Means to you?
A learning lesson. It is a fact that you learn from your failures more than your success. Failures are our best teachers in life.
What makes you happy?
I feel it is the state of mind. If I choose to be happy, I will try to be happy, no matter what the situation is, I will find a way to sail through. My motto is to live life every moment and I want people to remember a smiling Deepa.
Your favorite singer and song?
Sonu Nigam is my favorite singer and my favorite song is “Kal Ho Na Ho” title song.
If God grants a wish?
In the present situation – “please give a vaccine for Corona and save everyone from the bad effects of rain water.”
If you have to choose between Hyderabad and Kerala?
Always Hyderabad. I love the Hyderabadi culture, the Apnapan in this city, the Tehzeeb of “Aap” and culture of “Tu” too. I love the way it welcomes a blend of all cultures, religions, traditions beautifully. I find “Unity in Diversity” remarkably here. Eid, Diwali, Bathkamma, Sankranthi and Onam also celebrated with equal pomp.
Some Suggestions for aspiring RJs
The best thing about being an RJ is that you remain a student for life. You need to keep yourself updated with latest happenings all around. You need to be thoroughly read and should have a knowledge in many areas. You cannot limit yourself to one area and this “forever learning aspect” always interests me. You touch many lives; hence you should be cautious about what you present on radio. You cannot fake your voice and hence you should be loving and compassionate. Only then, will you be able to gain a place in the hearts of your listeners. Even without seeing us and knowing us, people believe us and so, it is our responsibility to never break their trust. We should ourselves practice what we preach.
A small word for all please
Life is beautiful and all the people around you are beautiful. Value life, value people in your life. Never hurt your parents and shower unconditional love in whatever work you do. I guarantee you will lead a contented life.
Thank you for reading through and please continue to shower your love and support to me.
Thank you for your time Deepa.
– Manjeetha Bandela, Journalist, Bangalore.